Facing the unexpected is almost always a challenge. Even happy surprises can sometimes throw us off balance, so it is no wonder the past year has us feeling shaken and insecure. No one expected a virus to knock the world cockeyed for an entire year, or for many people to respond by trying to take advantage of the situation.
HOWEVER, should we have been surprised? Really? Weren’t we warned?
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible [people], who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.2 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV)
When people behave badly, we often cry, “How could they do that?” We are dismayed when those we have trusted fail to behave as we’d hoped. It is easy to become discouraged and hopeless.
The Apostle Paul’s dire warning to Timothy is only part of the message to God’s people. We can take heart in the terrible times when people behave as Paul describes, because we have Christ’s own words to reassure us.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:32-33 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, if we are to persevere, it is important to become grounded in the full Scriptures. God provided His Word for just such a time as this.